502/5-Speed: 1967 Chevrolet Corvette

The owner of this 1962 Chevrolet Corvette was a true enthusiast, and this is one of several C2 Corvettes that he owned over the years. Sadly, he recently passed away, so the seller has listed it for sale on the family’s behalf. It features an upgraded drivetrain that should make it a blast to drive, and that is what this car is all about. Located in Raleigh, North Carolina, you will find the Corvette listed for sale here on eBay. The bidding has reached $59,900, and since the reserve has been met, the ‘Vette is set to go to a new home in a few short days.

The seller describes the Sunfire Yellow paint on the Corvette as being a good 10-footer. It isn’t perfect, but it is very acceptable for a driver-quality car. The buyer might choose to treat the car to a repaint, which is one of the few things that it needs. The fiberglass looks to be in good order, with no evidence of stress cracks or other problems. The seller supplies some clear photos of the underside, and apart from the occasional light sprinkling of surface corrosion, it appears to be rust-free. He makes no mention of any rust problems, so if the birdcage is as good as the frame, the ‘Vette could be a real winner. The trim and glass are in excellent condition, while the side pipes add a sense of purpose. The Rally wheels have no visible defects, and these are wrapped in a set of redline tires.

The most potent engine offered in the ’67 Corvette range was the monster L88 version of the 427, and while it “officially” produced 430hp, many specialists believed that the actual figure was well north of 500hp. However, it was not only highly-strung but hideously expensive. It added $947.90 to the Corvette’s base price of $4,388, and only 20 buyers chose this option. It was considered to be a competition unit, and Chevrolet tended to discourage its use on the street. More buyers saw the benefit of the L71 version, which delivered 435hp and cost $437.10. Equipped with that motor and the 4-speed transmission, a ’67 Corvette could blast through the same ¼ mile in 13.4 seconds. This Corvette has led quite a life from a mechanical perspective. The original drivetrain featured the L36 version of the 427ci big block. This brute would have pumped 390hp to the rear wheels via a 4-speed manual transmission. That should have allowed the Corvette to punch through the ¼ mile in 13.7 seconds, which was fast enough to satisfy most people. A previous owner pulled the 427 and dropped a 454 into the engine bay, and that’s how it was when the deceased owner, Donny, purchased the car. However, you can never have enough power, so Donny and his son set about extracting more from the Corvette. As it turned out, they extracted quite a bit more. The 454 was also consigned to the pages of history, and they slotted a 502ci crate engine under the hood. They ditched the 4-speed and shifting duties now fall to a 5-speed Tremec transmission. The 502 is claimed to produce more than 500hp, so its performance potential almost defies the imagination. A 12-second pass is a possibility, while it might also be capable of topping 150mph. The seller describes the car as a great driver, indicating that it’s ready to hit the road for some classic motoring fun.

The Corvette’s interior would seem to need nothing, and it is quite unassuming when you compare it with what is going on under the hood. Donny has done an excellent job of disguising the car’s potential and has even managed to utilize the original shifter on the Tremec transmission. The black trim is faultless, with no wear or other issues. The dash and wheel appear to be perfect, as is the carpet. The factory AM/FM radio is still present, and the vehicle also features power windows. This is another aspect of the Corvette that isn’t going to consume the new owner’s money.

It was possible to walk into a Chevrolet dealership in 1967 and drive away in a Corvette with more power than most people knew what to do with. The L88 engine was not a viable street motor, and Chevrolet actively discouraged its use on anything but a race track or a drag strip. That left buyers with the L71, and it was enough to satisfy 3,754 buyers. However, that was not enough for Donny, so he took his Corvette to the next level. This appears to be an excellent driver-quality classic, but lifting its presentation is a mere repaint away. I suspect that if Donny were still with us today, that would have been his next port of call. Sadly, he isn’t, but that doesn’t mean that it can never happen. I would love to think that the buyer will do that, but I hope that they hit the road and enjoy Donny’s creation even if they don’t. It deserves it.

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Comments

  1. Rbig

    Typo in the year in the write-up. Personally hate that they messed with the drivetrain. But to each their own. Decent vette

    Like 3
  2. Steve R

    Nice car with smart modifications. Once the original engine is gone there is no reason not make changes like this, that only serve to enhance the driving experience. If it’s as advertised, this car will be well bought by someone. Hopefully it will see more use than the occasional car show.

    Steve R

    Like 11
  3. Zagreb

    Does this car have a birdcage ?

    Like 1
    • Rj Keenan

      ….yes, look it up for pictures.

      Like 1
  4. Dave Hunt

    The birdcage is a metal structure that holds the windshield, door, sill plate and rocker panel molding on, so yes, nice car.Dave Hunt

    Like 2
  5. 19sixty5 Member

    This is the type of Corvette that really appeals to me, OEM appearing to the casual observer, with subtle modifications, and not so perfect you are afraid to drive it! Swap out the HEI for a small cap HEI with a tach drive, install the ignition shielding with correct type plug wires, and the ruse is complete. Add Vintage Air and drive it like you stole it!

    Like 7
    • 427Turbojet 427Turbojet Member

      One of my projects this winter was to replace the HEI I put in my 66 coupe a few years ago when I couldn’t get it to run with the original transistor ignition system. I wanted to put the shielding and correct wires back on. I bought a small cap HEI tach drive distributor and installed it. Ran great, but when I started to install the shielding, no way it was going to fit. The aftermarket distributor (really nice quality) was just over an inch taller than the factory distributor. I ended up putting a plain stock distributor with a Pertronix conversation in. I had already installed a stock looking electronic tach in to run with the HEI. Next winters project will be to trouble shoot the factory TI setup and see if I can go back to original.

      Like 2
      • John Green

        The original TI was problematic. I replaced 2 within 6 months on a new car. third time was the charm.

        Like 1
  6. Steve

    I like this car, the 502 crate engine has aluminum heads which takes 80-90 lbs off the front, and a nice sweet power plant. I have one in my boat and it was a great upgrade.

    Like 2
  7. jokacz

    If it was a convertible in a better color with boltons, it would be perfect.

  8. george mattar

    Truth be told, many of these original 427s blew up. They were in reality junk. I have no problem with the upgrades. At least the owner didn’t put in three taillamps, flare the fenders and do other stupid crap that plenty of people did 50 years ago. Yes, the color is awful, but it’s a 67, my favorite Corvette. I am jealous I can’t have it. I have a driver 73 coupe with a 4 speed and 3.36 rear. With today’s speed racers on the roads going 100 mph, I am always looking for 5th gear to keep up. I don’t like pushing the car when it is reading 3,200 rpm on a long trip. I routinely go on 200 mile trips in the car in nice weather. After all, these were just cars when they were new. Life is short, as we see here, so enjoy it, don’t let them sit in your garage.

    Like 8
    • Steve

      These motors were not “junk” but were blown up by over revving since the heads could breathe well. The valve springs could not handle 7000 rpm, and would float or drop a valve. Rev limiters were not generally available yet. Blown engines=operator error.

      Like 8
      • jokacz

        They spun bearings long before they dropped valves. I wonder if we had good synthetic oil in the 60’s they would have lived longer. As bad as big block Chevys were, they didn’t blow up as often as Hemis.

    • F Rice

      George is absolutely correct. The L36 427/390 had garbage cast piston rods and 2 bolt mains: I missed shift and its game over. Take it from an old street racer that knows.

      • JoeNYWF64

        Can i assume the same applies to, say, the common pontiac 400 V8 with cast rods & 2 bolt mains?

      • jokacz

        Chevy was aware of the shortcomings of the 2 bolt main big blocks. As time went by they started sneaking in blocks stamped “Hi-Perf”, four bolts, in the hydraulic lifter engines as opposed to the original “Pass” 2 bolt blocks. Check the block before buying a big block hydraulic lifter Vette for the better block.

  9. JoeNYWF64

    Is that rear end as stout as a 12 bolt on a GM solid axle?
    Can it & all 6 universal joints handle a 502?
    At least they aren’t CV joints.

  10. James Bishop

    Reality Check …… .Sorry , truth be told 427’s were not junk . I guess you think you know more than GM and race car builders . The main reason most any motors blow up is operator error like someone mentioned already , basic dumb asses pushing the car way past extreme –Engine failure .

    Like 2
    • jokacz

      Truth be told all American iron of that era was junk. I went to high school with a lot of the losers that worked at the Tonawanda Chevy engine foundry and believe me that place was a zoo. You sure as hell did not want a Monday or Friday build, choice was drunk, hungover, or just plain stoned. But the unions had GM by the short hairs in those days and anything went.

      • karl

        Well that’s a very general statement ……

        Like 1
  11. James Bishop

    You must have eaten yellow snow back then , that story is as old as dirt . Not always true used through out the world as a example . Get a life . You ever hear the one : takes one to know one !!!

    Like 1

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